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NeBeLNeST - ZePTO CD (album) cover





3.81 | 41 ratings

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4 stars If Nova Express can be characterized as Red era King Crimson on speed and acid then Zepto is not a continuation on that line of musical evolution. From a far, both albums contain similar sounding instruments but the character of the music is significantly different.

The first song "Pillars of Birth" represents the overall transition of the music between their second and third albums. This is the only song on Zepto that could have been inserted into Nova Express without causing a "what the hell.?!!" moment. This song has a discernable structure albeit it becomes apparent after several listens. Early in the song the main theme is exchanged between keyboard and guitar and at each exchange the theme morphs a little. Midway through the song, now that the theme is well established, one instrument voices the theme and then the other provides improvisation on the theme. This exchange is repeated twice. The song closes with return of the Main Theme.

The above description is a little too clinical. I find the song powerful, with enough sign posts distributed through out the sonic landscape that one does not feel lost. Overall this could be the best song in the album.

The second song "Majnuns" starts with a few bars on an acoustic guitar. This is the only time you will hear an acoustic guitar on the album. The music quickly reverts back to Nebelnest's dark and scary sound (much loved). An acoustic piano has a very interesting dissonant slow melody over the dark Nebelnest sonic mud. An unexpected clean break in the song opens up a new section where sequential improvisations by keyboard and guitar fills the dark soundscape. Almost exactly halfway through the song an Arabic melody on an eastern woodwind instrument interrupts the fiery proceedings for a few seconds only to return to the improvisational music for one more round.

"The Old Ones" opens with another very interesting middle eastern theme only to be shattered after a few seconds by a fuzzy, ripping bass guitar. The song has a linear structure (word "structure" is used very loosely) where several guitar solos are interlaced with Keyboard solos. During the first solo the guitar has a very clean sound which is unusual for Nebelnest. As time progresses the sound of the guitar reverts back. The song ends with a very nice but brief mellotron.

"The Thing in the Walls" is the shortest song on the album. It basically is a rock injected free jazz improvisation. There are very interesting dissonant solos both from the guitar and the piano.

"Fabric of Reality" is a three minute song which starts with middle eastern drumming and clarinet which again last for only a few seconds and the whole thing breaks down to jazzy free form clarinet solo (by the way the clarinet sound is not your classical clarinet. Very interesting and powerful). The song closes with staccato violin over electronic screeching sounds.

"De ThriumphonNaturae" This is a two part song. The first part opens up with an eerie, dissonant mellotron passage. Sudden rupture of energy explodes peppered with guitar solos. The forceful bass sound is dominant during this portion of the song. Keyboard opens up the second part of this song. Soaring guitars punctuated with calmer jazzy interludes defines the second part of this song.

"Do What Thou Wilt" This is the longest song on the album at 10:06 minutes. It basically is a free jazz improvisation. The dominant, driving bass sound is ever present. Woodwinds, either electrified or synthesizer generated, adds depth to the song. About 5 minutes into it the songs starts to resemble a Nebelnest creation but this interlude does not last and everything reverts back to free jazz improvisation.

"Station 9" More unstructured free jazz music. Electronic/rock-instrument version of the Art Ensemble of Chicago circa 1980. The new Nebelnest album Zepto has free, improvisational jazz elements firmly embedded in it. It differs from the earlier Nebelnest album Nova Express which had its roots in rock sensibilities. Whether you will like Zepto or not strongly depends on your appreciation of free jazz elements. I prefer the Nova Express.

spleenache | 4/5 |


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